Professor Tom Shakespeare
BA Hons PhD FBA
of disability research
Trained in social and political sciences at Cambridge University, I subsequently studied for an MPhil and Phd. I have taught and researched at the Universities of Sunderland, Leeds, Newcastle and East Anglia. From 2008-2013, I was a technical officer at the World Health Organisation, Geneva, where I co-authored and co-edited the World Report on Disability (2011) and International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury (2014). My books include: the Sexual Politics of Disability (1996); Disability Rights and Wrongs (2006; 2014); Disability - the Basics (2017). I was a member of Arts Council, England (2003-2008) and Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2013-2019). I am currently chair of Light for the World - UK, and vice-chair of Light for the World International.
I teach on disability and development, including disability rights, sexual and reproductive health of disabled people, disability and mental health etc.
My qualitative social research has been with disabled people, in UK and Africa, exploring social and economic consequences of impairment and illness. Specific projects have been about: disabled people's sexual and reproductive rights; disabled childhoods; resilience and success for disabled people in Africa; independent living and social care; rights-based rehabilitation; mental health recovery. I also have an interest in bioethics as it pertains to disabled people, specifically prenatal testing and end of life and assisted dying. With Professor Hannah Kuper, I am currently co-director of the PENDA programme of impact analyses of interventions to improve the lives of disabled people in LMICs; with colleagues in the Global Mental Health Programme, I am PI of SUCCEED, a project to co-produce and evaluate multi-disciplinary approaches to psychosis in four AFrican countries; I also contribute a disability lens to ACCESS, a collaboration led by IPPF to address SRHR in the development-humanitarian nexus, collaborating with Professor Cicely Marston and team; I supervise a team evaluating the LCD-led i2i disability employment programme in Kenya and Bangladesh. All these research programmes are funded by DFID.